Throughout 2021 here on the ClubX Blog, we will be highlighting fun holidays and historical events to use as programming idea sparks. To learn more about how I used them when I was a frontline Club staff, check out the first post in the series here, along with ideas for January and February. Today, I’ll be highlighting special days in March, April, and May. But basically, one way to keep programming fresh and youth engaged is by having a mix of types of activities, and especially some that feel special.
I mean, don’t we want our Club members to feel as happy as a dog in a kiddie pool ball pit? WE ABSOLUTELY DO!
National Craft Month: While you likely often do crafts in the Art room, use this opportunity to explore some traditional arts & crafts from your community’s local history. If you have a local historical society or art museum, they may have someone who can lead a Zoom or socially distanced activity. If you aren’t sure where to look or who to contact, your local librarians can probably help. If nothing else, March 15 is National Quilting Day which is perfect for a paper quilt activity,
Women’s History Month: We have a whole post with ideas for this!
Newspapers in Education Week (first week in March): Gather editions of your hometown newspaper and have youth browse them, paying attention to the way news articles are written, the style and vocabulary, and how headlines are written. Use those observations to write a Club newspaper. Also consider discussing how to figure out if what you read or hear online is trustworthy in the Fact or Fake activity on MyFuture.
March 2 Read Across America: Here’s a post from last year with 3 great ideas. All could be done either in Club or virtually (for the silent reading party, play instrumental music over the line and invite youth to get comfy where they are).
March 4 U.S. Constitution Went into Effect (1789): Have youth test their knowledge of the rights guaranteed by the Constitution in the Do I Have a Right game from iCivics.org. For a full lesson plan using the game as well as access to many more, register for a free educator account.
March 17 St. Patrick’s Day: Here’s a real ClubX throwback, with STEM and Minute to Win It ideas galore!
National Poetry Month: Get youth writing with these four modern styles. For teens, consider watching and discussing Amanda Gorman’s poem The Hill We Climb from the Presidential Inauguration.
National Karaoke Week (fourth week in April): KARAOKE PARTY!!!!!!!!!!
April 6 First Modern Olympics (1896): Check out highlights and photos from the revival of the Ancient Games in Athens, Greece, then participate in a series of events using the supplies you have in the Gym and Gamesroom. Get teens involved by having them design and run the events.
April 12 Yuri Gagarin Becomes the First Man in Space (1961): This day, which also marks the 1981 first launch of the Space Shuttle Columbia, is perfect for an activity from the DIY STEM Intro to Aeronautics unit, co-created with NASA! You’ll find them in Unit 4, same as in the Native Adaptation.
April 23 American Crossword Puzzle Tournament: This year’s tournament will be played online, so you can too! On this site, youth can create their own crossword puzzles and then play them online, or you can print hard copies. A couple of tips: the site autocreates clues but they are difficult, so have youth delete those and write their own, and if you do choose to print be sure to select “Letter” size and not A4 (unless you are reading this from Europe).
National Strawberry Month: Have a culinary program? Strawberries are the ingredient of the month. Make pies, fruit salads (especially since it is also National Salad Month!), and get youth to come up with ways to integrate them into savory dishes for an extra challenge,
Asian/Pacific Heritage Month: This post has videos, ideas for activities, and a personal story from one of our colleagues.
And this one written in 2021 has even more ideas!
Cartoon Appreciation Week (first week in May): Learn how to create a short cartoon that tells a story in the MyFuture activity Online Animation.
May 4 Space Day/Star Wars Day: The Mandalorian has brought Star Wars fever BACK, so use the chance for a great pun (May the 4th Be With You!) and STEM fun.
May 18 International Museum Day: If you are able, plan a museum field trip. If not, there are lots of museums that have virtual tours. Consider having pairs of youth choose a museum, browse together, then choose one exhibit to share with the rest of the group.
Memorial Day (Last Monday in May): While you probably aren’t in the Club for Memorial Day itself, I always enjoyed throwing a start of summer party on a day nearby. Whether the last day of school-year programming or the first day of summer, have some special Club-wide fun by getting outside, special competitions, or some extra silliness. Here are ideas with beach balls, pool noodles, sidewalk chalk, and to beat the heat.
I’d love to have a museum event, it’s one thing that I haven’t done in a while and can help increase cultural appreciation for attendees.